Setting out from the fundamental variables of the Italian economy and finances on the eve of the war and during the years of conflict, this article highlights the country’s dependence on international markets and its choice in favour of the Entente. Italy’s war was financed to a small extent by fiscal pressure but to a great extent by going into debt. Until 1916, the notion of a short war prevailed, without excessive strains on the public finances and with scant recourse to allied loans. With the passage to total economic and financial mobilisation, Italy became ever more dependent on allied loans (initially English, and then American), and on domestic public indebtedness. Five national loans were launched, the issue of ordinary government securities was boosted and the circulation of paper currency markedly increased.
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